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San Diego Peace Corps Association Newsletter
March -- April 2007— Volume 20, Number 2
Index: click on your choice...
NPCA Advocacy
...........Swaziland.............Finding a Can Opener
Global Awards Program:
ISP Grant Funded

Global Awareness Award
Nominations Due
1WOW Evaluation Results
46 Years: Still Going Strong!
Happy Anniversary Peace Corps—March 1, 1961 !

NOTE: SDCA email addresses here are no longer clickable to prevent roaming spam servers reading them. Sorry for the inconvenience- 9/05



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SDPCA Dues Recap    As of 1/1/07

  • SDPCA new membership is:
    • $20 per year for individuals annually.
    • $28 per year for a family annually.
    • January through December, renewable each January.
  • SDPCA members:
    • must send SDPCA dues to SDPCA.
    • must NOT send SDPCA dues to NPCA as they will not rebate to SDPCA at this time.
    • CAN include NPCA membership dues when paying SDPCA membership. SDPCA will forward that to NPCA (see form page 11).
  • NPCA new membership is
    • $35 yearly and
    • available only to individuals annually.
    • no longer available at a family rate.

SDPCA Renewal Dues for this Change-Over Year

  • 2007 SDPCA  dues are now payable.
  • In changing over to January-renewal, dues this year will be pro-rated to reflect a part of this year already paid
  • For mailed newsletters: Check your mailing label for the month your membership is due.
  • Use the table below to figure out how much you need to pay to “top-up” your membership to the end of December ‘07.
Due Month

Amount Due



Jan, Feb, or Mar 07
Apr, May, or Jun 07
Jul, Aug, or Sep 07
Oct, Nov, or Dec 07

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NPCA Advocacy

March 1st is the National Day of Action in Support of the Peace Corps! 
[But don’t stop after March 1st !]


The Basics:

  • Current funding for general Peace Corps operations (Fiscal Year 2006 funding) totals $319 million.
  • On February 6th, 2006, President Bush submitted a Fiscal Year 2007 budget to Congress. This budget included a request of $337 million for the Peace Corps. This represents an increase in funding over the current fiscal year of approximately 5.5%.
  • On June 9th, 2006, the House of Representatives approved a Foreign Operations budget that included $324.5 million for Peace Corps. This represents an increase in funding of less than 2%.
  • On June 29th, 2006, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a Foreign Operations budget that recommended no funding increase for Peace Corps.
  • In late November, 2006 the outgoing Congress approved a "Continuing Resolution" (CR) on unresolved spending bills (including Peace Corps funding). Under the CR, Peace Corps continues to be funded at the Fiscal Year 2006 level.
  • Democrats who will be leading the new 110th Congress announced in December, 2006 they plan to extend the CR for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2007. While there will be some possibilities for funding increases, most of the FY 2007 budget is expected to be frozen at FY 2006 levels.
  • The new Congress has received the President's 2008 budget request for $334 million, an increase of less than 5% over current funding.  This is far short of his pledged goal to double the number of volunteers by 2007, and will still need to be approved by congress.

For more about what you can do in what will be an ongoing battle, read the rest of Funding Facts and more online. You can write, call, email...  Check it out on NPCA  Advocacy:

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The Peace I Found

By Lee Wilbur (Jordan 2002, Morocco 2004-06)

January 31, 2007 – PCOnline 
[Full text:]

I am concerned. When I turn on my American television and see Muslims, I feel scared. I see acts of violence. I hear rants of anger and hate. Muslims do not have a peaceful face on my American TV. They do not appear to be happy people.

These images are shocking to me. I do not doubt that they are real. Several parts of the Muslim world are experiencing unimaginable suffering from war, death, poor human rights and fear from social insecurity. What I know, however, is that these images of anger and hate are not universal traits across the Muslim world. I know this because I recently returned from Muslim lands and I experienced quite the opposite.

I traveled through Pakistan, lived in Jordan, and worked in Morocco. In these places, I witnessed the euphoria of simple happiness; a sincere joy of living that I had never before seen in any other part of the world. I would like to share with you a few anecdotes of my experiences with strangers as testimony to the positive feelings that abound in the contemporary Muslim world.

While visiting Lahore, a spectacular city in eastern Pakistan famous for its art, architecture, cuisine, and hospitality, I noticed that a man was following me at a rather fast pace. It was night and I became worried that he might want to do me harm. He began waving at me. I turned onto a busy street and increased my pace. After a good 15 minutes of brisk walking down a well lit main street, I thought I had lost him. I sat down on a bench for a rest. Within a couple minutes I saw him coming up, walking fast. He appeared out of breath and called out to me to stop.

I jumped up and took off again, hoping to loose him. It didn’t work. Finally I came to a dead end. I was trapped. My only option was to confront this man. When he got closer to me, he said to me in a very polite albeit exhausted voice, “sir, you dropped your book back there.” He handed me my book, wished me a lovely evening, and turned to walk the couple miles back to where our chase had started. I was left standing there in awe, feeling ashamed of my assumptions and amazed at his perseverance and loyalty to a cause.

Some months later on a sunny morning in the Jordan River Valley, the lowest spot on earth, I boarded a local bus on my daily commute to work. A man in traditional Muslim robes began preaching to the bus audience, encouraging them to pray and to attend the mosque. When he noticed me, an obvious Westerner, his attentions suddenly turned and focused on me. I did not comprehend all that he was saying. I felt uncomfortable and decided to get off at the next stop. I was scared of that which I did not understand and my being a foreigner. This preacher’s gaze on me only intensified as his voice grew louder. When the next stop came, I prepared to pay the driver my bus fare. The man who had been preaching got in front of me, paid my fair for me, and said to me in Arabic, “Welcome to Jordan. Our home is your home and I hope you love it here.”

Bewildered, I got off the bus and felt ashamed of my assumptions. I took solace in my punishment of the long walk up that hot dusty road. Later that day, I found the bus driver and asked him what that man had been preaching about. The driver said that he was preaching about how taking care of strangers, regardless of their background or religion, was an utmost duty for all Muslims. I was seeing similar behavior all around me and I felt humbled to be in the presence of these good and kind people.

In late 2004 I moved to Morocco for work as a small business development volunteer with the Peace Corps. I rented a small house in the old section of a strikingly picturesque town at the foot of the Atlas Mountains. I was the only American living in this town of 50,000 people. When I arrived, I did not know anyone. No one, however, treated me as a stranger. Everyone I met invited me into their homes for tea and for jovial lunches of luscious cous-cous. They asked about my family, my country, and how I liked Morocco. Many people asked me how Americans viewed Muslims. They were also concerned with the images they saw on their televisions.

I stayed in that Moroccan town for 2 years. I made close friends whom I grew to love. People took care of me and I tried my best to take care of them. During this time I only felt uncomfortable being an American when I watched TV and saw unpleasant images from and harsh criticisms about the United States. People, however, never made me feel ashamed for being an American or for not being Muslim. Their genuine warmth and welcoming continually showed me the good feelings that exist across the Muslim world.

How contrary these personal experiences are to the images I see on my television. Of course happiness does not often make the evening headlines; death always does. What I want is for people in the United States to realize that the Muslim world is vast and varied. In my experience it is also exceptionally welcoming.

Those of us with positive cross-cultural experiences should be vocal in counteracting stereotypes and assumptions. We can do this by simply sharing our experiences. I, for example, share stories such as the ones in this article in hopes of counteracting negative feelings and misperceptions acquired through the media. I feel blessed to be able to spread positive news from the Muslim world to anyone who will listen.

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from Beth and Paul Skorochod, PCVs Swaziland

Dearest Friends,

We are nearing the end of our time here — contracts end April 1st — so we are glad and sad, anxious to move on and nervous as to what to move on to. We are happy to have been invited to stick around at our current jobs, at our current pay... neither of which is too appealing. One of our New Year’s resolutions was to earn more than a few hundred dollars a month — not much more, but more. But if/when we leave, we will miss our lives here, the friends we’ve made and the family that has taken us in as their own. We continue to stay close to our roots in Lomahasha and will be celebrating a belated New Year with our Swazi family on Sunday. 

We have been working on a side project in HIV prevention for the past few months that has become the topic du jour here, and that may allow us to stay on, either here, or elsewhere in Africa, for a time. You may have caught a glimpse of studies done on male circumcision (MC) in South Africa, Uganda and Kenya, and its preventative effects in HIV transmission. We planned a pilot project at the government hospital to determine the costs of the procedure, including HIV and safe sex education for men between the ages of 18 and 30 years. It took place this past Saturday. We were able to get 40 men circumcised in one 8-hour day with 4 surgeons on duty and 5 nurses. All men were counseled on risk reduction for HIV and safe sex, and about 10 wanted to be tested for HIV. Sadly, we turned one man away for a raging case of syphilis that needed to be treated before the operation (this info I got from the doctor. While we are committed to this new technology, neither Paul nor I want to be quite at “grassroots” level on this one. We are happy to project manage and leave the hands-on work to those more qualified than us :). Reps from UNAIDS were there and a doctor from World Health Org. in Geneva flew in to observe. Swaz is on the “cutting” edge (yes, the jokes are bad…) with this emerging technology, so many in HIV prevention are interested to see what the country is doing. We are writing our report now and hope the info can help the Swazi government scale up accessibility to MC. 

So enough about all that...on to more important things like our vacation. We were in Uganda for Christmas and New Years, visiting friends from high school who have lived and worked there for a few years. A friend from Chicago who now lives in China also flew in to meet us. It was quite the reunion.

I am attaching a few pictures below. It typically takes me about 12 hours to upload a few pictures. I get it ready before I leave for the night and presto! It’s all uploaded and ready to send by the next morning. “Africa time” really isn’t so bad once you learn to just work within the system :).

We were in Uganda for about 15 days and traveled through much of the country. Rather than blab on about it all, I’ve included a few captions for the photos below.

[Photos from authors].

North/South Fight (above): Here we are at the equator in Uganda demonstrating the age-old conflict between North and South (sides that know, Cubs vs. Sox and all that.) Our marriage really shows that Chicago’s north and southsiders really can get along... especially when the Bears were in the Super Bowl. Go Bears!

Dripping Lions (above): We went on a safari in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth Park. We arrived early in the Ishasha area with hopes of seeing the pride of lions known for hanging out in the trees. No one has really explained why the pride does this, and they are the only known lions to exhibit this behavior. We weren’t having much luck and it was getting quite hot by afternoon. We were ready to turn back and our guide, Moses, told me, “Elizabeth, this park is your namesake. You must call the lions to come show themselves.” So after some dramatics in which I told Moses I was calling the lions, we tried our luck one last time. We drove another 10 minutes and came across this tree dripping with three lions. These guys could’ve cared less that we were there, clicking away underneath the tree. My crummy 5-year-old digital camera really doesn’t do the scene justice, but it’s a memory I’ll never forget. For the rest of the trip Moses called me “Momma Lion.”

Silverbackhead (above): This picture shows a little snippet of one of the coolest things Paul and I have done in our lives. We drove to Bwindi, a rainforest on the Ugandan border with Congo and Rwanda. This is gorilla country and the national park allows small groups of people to enter the forest to track the gorillas. I use “track” lightly as the real trackers leave at 5am each morning to find the gorilla families then radio back to the tourist trackers and their guides to let them know where to hike. But hey, it was adventurous enough for me. We hiked for about two hours up a mountain and back down into this small valley. The forest was amazing, but all we could see was green. We stopped for a break and the guide turned back and told me we had found the gorillas. I had found nothing. I looked everywhere and simply saw more trees. He took his machete to a huge patch of vines and sitting there was a family of 8 gorillas feasting on the forest.  I nearly wet my pants.

We were about 6 feet away from an adolescent gorilla. He just stared at us. We stared back. Then the guide said we should keep at least a few feet away at all times and if the gorillas charged we should simply stand our ground. Stand our ground? These things are as big as Volkswagen bugs. The only way I was standing my ground was if someone shot me dead. Then the gorilla we had just been staring at jumped out of the bush, beat his chest a few times, and charged Paul. And lo and behold, Paul stood his ground. Well, stood his ground, was frozen in his tracks, it’s all really the same in that situation. But I thought he was brave. The gorilla stopped just short of steamrolling his way over Paul and proceeded to roll down the hill and feast on some grass down there. 

We hung out with the rest of the family for about 40 minutes. Just watching them and taking photos. There was one silverback (adult male with silvery-gray back hair — not unlike the patriarchs of my own Italian family, minus the gold chains of course!) who just sat and hung out with us. I think he consumed about 30 lbs. of vines and grass while we watched him. This picture is slightly blurry because you can’t use a flash, but it isn’t zoomed at all. We really were that close. Jane Goodall, eat your heart out! 

[Editor’s Note:  Beth is an accomplished writer and editor, and is available for hire with the proceeds going to fund local projects in Swaziland!  If you can use her services, please contact her at]

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Finding a Can Opener

from Victor Bloomberg, PCV Paraguay

The Winter Solstice Season visits with family and friends in San Diego brought home to me sensations and thoughts that seemed almost dreamlike in real time. Back in Paraguay for almost two weeks, a can opener emerged repeatedly as a reflective emblem.

A person blessed with a resilient, robust body unlike mine might not be so concerned with diet. A benefit of the body that I have is the motivation to prepare meals that are nutritious and pleasurable, if only to maintain health. Towards this end began a search for a can opener so that sardines and tuna could be part of my diet.

Ten months in a foreign culture with a maximum language competency that ranges from 1st grade through 9th has included a balance of “help-seeking” versus “independent-learning.” My self-esteem is occasionally strained, especially given my substantial English abilities. Soon upon my initial arrival in my barrio, it became a matter of pride to solve the little riddle: “Where is there a can opener for sale?”

The open market of “Zona Baja” is jam-packed with a hodgepodge of stores that sell to Argentinean tourists and locals. Everything from herbal remedies to electronics is available in a buyer beware, floating-price environment. The sidewalks extend the display area of every shop and the streets are often a semi-free-for-all mixture of buses, taxis, push-carts, horse-drawn carts, cars, motorcycles and pedestrians. My route to the street-children’s lunch program takes me through this commercial district that’s being slowly dismantled as part of a World Bank redevelopment project. The first can opener I bought was from a sidewalk vendor. Sometimes it could be forced to break through and tuna juice would spritz out. My pocket knife worked better. The second one was purchased at a “Zona Alta” supermarket. It worked only a little better. Canned goods are on the shelf. I had yet to see a Paraguayan use one. I yearned for a can opener from home as I thought: “What don’t I know?”

Rather than culture shock, back home was a culture-breather. It was fun to get in Mom’s car and zip around. The freeways and paved roads, the well-stocked stores regulated by consumer rights laws, and the ability to communicate with ease culminated in thoughts such as: “No wonder this country wants to maintain its position in the world.” Back in the Third World as a volunteer that doesn’t drive and knows only superficially the lay of the land, imagine the pleasure as the first-rate can opener from home opened the can like it had a zipper.

The children’s song that ends in the refrain “life is but a dream” is haiku poetry. Everything humans produce can be symbolic with deepening layers of meaning: conduct, discourse, art, etc. Life in a foreign land includes a web of unstated meaning that is incomprehensible to the visitor. Getting inside a very different culture requires curiosity about the unknown and not obvious. It is a challenge to go “gently down the stream” within a two-year timeframe provided by the volunteer program. And yet, forcefulness makes a mess.

Recently, there was a gathering of volunteers. I was on the team of facilitators. Stories were shared with the common theme of a roadblock to getting things done. Each story placed Paraguayan conduct as a barrier, such as lack of attendance at a scheduled meeting or socializing during planned work-time. Unlike the can opener riddle, the topic seemed perfect for consultation with Paraguayans upon my return to the barrio. Some of their responses:

  • Physician: “If we like it, we’ll use it. If not, we might do it while you’re around, but when you leave we’ll go back to what we like.”
  • Nurse: “These are My People. When you leave, we remain. When the benefit isn’t obvious, we aren’t going to do it.”
  • Art Teacher: “The traditions are very old. New things are not necessarily better.”
  • Guarani Teacher: “You live to work, we work to live.”
  • Development Coordinator: “Our history hasn’t prepared us for Yankee methods, and the structure of our lives doesn’t permit us to use them – even when it’s necessary.”

The volunteers’ stories implied that Paraguayans need to change so that volunteers can help do good things. The professionals’ responses reminded me of an ongoing self-reflection: “How can I change my behavior?”

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Mark J. Tonner International Support Fund
Grant Proposal Funded

After reviewing proposals for the December 2006 International Support Fund (two were submitted), the Global Awards Committee funded one proposal.

Greenhouse for Coffee and Vegetables
Rio Negro, Honduras $416—PCV Charles MacIntyre

These funds will be used to build a greenhouse for drying coffee and growing organic vegetables.  Charles MacIntyre is the Peace Corps Volunteer sponsoring the project and Adalid Zavala is the Host Country National providing oversight.  Look for photos and updates on Charles’s project in future newsletters!

The next deadline for Global Awards proposals is May 1st. 

For more information, including the Request for Proposal form, go to the San Diego Peace Corps Association website:

For more info contact:

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Nominations Due April 1
Global Awareness Award

What San Diego group do YOU believe shares the goals of the SDPCA?

Each year, the SDPCA honors one such group at our annual meeting as a way of recognition and collaboration. Over the past three years the SDPCA has awarded our Global Awareness Award in recognition to the efforts of:

  • 2004: Victor Villaseñor’s Snow Goose Thanksgiving
  • 2005: San Diego Peace Resource Center
  • 2006: International Rescue Committee of San Diego

An application form is online: 

Send nominations to SDPCA,
c/o Global Awareness Award,
P.O.Box 26565, San Diego, CA 92196.

SDPCA members may make Global Awareness Award nominations to honor an organization which carries out work consistent with SDPCA’s goals.  Nominations are open to any non-profit organization that supports one or both of the goals in our mission statement:

  1. Bringing the world back home.
  2. Building a network of RPCVs in the San Diego area.

A one page nomination should describe the following:

  1. What is the organization, and its activities.
  2. What results have the organization and its members achieved over the last two years.
  3. What makes the organization and its members worthy of recognition. 
 For more info contact:

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From Sira Perez, Speakers Chairperson...

"Peace Corps Week" All Year Long
To Celebrate 46 Years of Service

SDPCA kicked off Peace Corps Week with an Open House February 26th at the Mission Valley Library.

Although Peace Corps Week, February 26th–March 4th this year, is the official time to celebrate Peace Corps as promoting a better understanding of other cultures, I encourage you to get into the community, share your experiences, and open up the world, one speaking engagement at a time!

Speak to students at Peace Corps Information Meetings, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Lions Clubs, Rotary Clubs, and schools throughout San Diego County.

Thank you to: Recent and Up-coming Speakers:
  • Vicki Curran spoke with Cub Scouts Feb. 15;
  • Shannon Oliver (recently back from Ivory Coast) spoke at UCSD;
  • Girl Scouts doing Global Community event at Mission Trails in April, looking for female RPCV from rural area.
  • General information meetings: 
    • UCSD,
    • USD,
    • Chula VIsta Library
    • SD Public Library
If you are an RPCV and would like to share your experiences at upcoming events like this, contact me:
-Sira Perz, Kazakhstan (2001-2003),

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Pre-Farewell Message

from Rudy Sovinee (Ghana 1970-73)

After living in San Diego for over twenty years, it is likely that my days here are numbered. My tour as staff with the Peace Corps ended on 2/10/07, and I’ve little desire to start another career before embarking on my long term plans to live somewhere overseas. After emailing many people and reading numerous suggestions, I’m evaluating Belize, Costa Rica, Fiji, Ghana, The Philippines, Thailand and Tonga… which will take time to research.

I’m writing this early because an article by Joan Clabby needs your attention. The 1WOW program is what I’m leaving behind. Days when I’ve presented to kids in schools have been among the best days of my life – and I hope the SDPCA will welcome the opportunity and make use of it to truly promote understanding in the USA of the people we’ve seen. For any individuals who are on the presentation level of this project, I promise you great joy. You’ll experience this joy as you see the understanding in the eyes of the children you train. Because I know this joy so well, I’d consider delaying my departure if this project took off quickly in a way that sought my participation and provided me a way to stay. Most of my furniture is already sold, and the condo is on the market, so I’ll soon be pretty flexible as to where I live. The annual meeting in May is likely my last event to count on me being around.

OK, so back to my farewell… I’m looking to investigate visa requirements, cost of living, and political stability for these places that attract me. I do like hiking hills and mountains, snorkeling reefs, and becoming part of a slower-paced community. I also expect that my community development skills will still seek expression, but I am striving to avoid too many preconceptions on how my life will evolve. Comments and suggestions are welcome, especially as to where to best live in these particular countries.

Until I move, my email address of will be the best way to reach me with your ideas.

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World Social Forum

By Joan Clabby (Senegal 1985-87)

Do you know the World Social Forum is?  It’s new to me, so I’m sharing it with you. 

In Nairobi, Kenya, from January 21-25, an estimated 20,000 to 60,000 people gathered for the seventh annual World Social Forum. They came from Asia and the Pacific, the Americas, Europe and especially, this time, from Africa. They were there to network with other activists, academics, progressive politicians and representatives of organizations and institutions. More than 1,500 events were held, including panels, workshops, symposia, processions, music, theater and film.

Each year, the World Social Forum is held at about the same time as the World Economic Forum. This timing is intended as an act of protest as well as a way to draw attention to a contrasting vision for the future—one that is people-centered. The World Economic Forum has been an invitation-only meeting place for the global elite in politics and industry: including corporate CEOs, politicians (including heads of state), science and military leaders, and academics. Since its inception in 1971, many have seen the World Economic Forum as simply a lobbying event where corporations can negotiate deals and network with political and military leaders from around the globe.

The World Social Forum organizers see the current model of globalization as a product of this exclusion and believe most of the world loses out on this deal. Corporate profit is made more important than people and the environment because corporations and government leaders and working hand-in-hand. Discussions about global climate change, for example, are based on profit margins. For the poorest billion people in the world who survive outside of the business market, this doesn’t make sense. What good is profit in the hands of the few? How will corporate profits in the US or Europe help rural farmers in Senegal survive the expanding desert and diminishing rains? You can see why they chose the theme “People’s Struggles, People’s Alternatives – Another World Is Possible.”

The   was started by a group of Brazilian non-profit organizations. In 2001, 20,000 people attended the forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and a charter of principles was created, stating “The World Social Forum is an open meeting place for reflective thinking, democratic debate of ideas, formulation of proposals, free exchange of experiences and interlinking for effective action, by groups and movements of civil society.”

Find out more at 
Don’t you love to see altruistic people working to make this world a better place!

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1WOW Evaluation Party Results

By Joan Clabby

SDPCA members gathered in February to view and evaluate the One World, Our World (1WOW) school assembly program. We are considering using this program as an ongoing income source for the SDPCA’s International Support Fund that will also help us fulfill Peace Corp’s third goal. It would require our volunteers (you, me) time to do this, but 1WOW really does encourage leadership, tolerance, peace building, and healthier friendships among students while generating income for our worthwhile Peace Corp projects overseas (the same way the International Calendars we sell raise funds for the RPCVs of Madison, WI).

This program has evolved from a San Diego RPCV’s Third Goal presentation that showed images from around the globe into a very effective conflict resolution program that is so appreciated by school administrators, teachers and parents for the way it teaches youth (ideally 7th grade and under) to understand the causes of conflict, and to help each other. During the 90’s it was presented as an interactive slide show to schools across the USA, eventually reaching over 176,000 students in 25 states. A presentation at a school generates $500/day – which equals a typical ISF Grant! In the last few years, 1WOW has also developed a kit for others to be able to present this assembly. A district can now license this kit at the rate of $700 for 5 schools.

The question is:  Can SDPCA volunteers market this kit to schools and other RPCV groups? Can we present the program in schools? Can we train other people to present the 1WOW program? Can you help by upgrading the 1WOW website, or managing the income and expenses for this project? If we each do a task, it will happen. This is not a one-volunteer show. Without your help, this whole project will get chalked off as just another good idea.

Check it out at .  If you want to make this happen, email me at

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SDPCA’s former president Ellen Shively received the Sierra Club San Diego Chapter’s 2006 Silver Cup Award. This award goes to the person “who has most significantly contributed to the success of the Chapter’s Mission.”

The list of her positions held, accomplishments, projects and preservation work is impressive. As their newsletter Hi Sierran put it “It would be hard to say what Ellen has not done for the Chapter and the environment.”

Way to go Ellen!

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Mi No No.  One would think that in a country having English as its official, and essentially only, language that one wouldn’t stumble over language too much.  However, Jamaica has a rich, vibrant and living patios as anyone listening to authentic reggae music finds.  One of my favorites was a pretty common statement “Mi No No.”  The speaker is simply saying “I don’t know.”
–From R. Chmielewski, Jamaica (2003-05)

Cus b’cus inkolal b’agray yehedall   is a phrase taught by our Amharic language instructor who acted it out without translation. It means, “gradually the egg walks.”
–From Ellen Shively, Eritrea (1968-70)

Ngumangang ang lola.   When we were taught Cebuano in the Philippines we were given the following sentence to practice over and over in order to finally pronounce the “ngu” sound: Ngumangang ang lola.  It was so fun to say, and it means “Grandmother is chewing betel nut.”
–From Dave & Helen Neal, Philippines (1962-64)

Adwumayo!  (A-ju-my-yo) This greeting is used when seeing someone who is working (at anything) to acknowledge that you appreciate that they are working, that you see they are working hard at it, and that you appreciate them.

The response is Adjumaye   which agrees/acknowledges being noticed. Inflection and tonal emphasis are used by each person to indicate his or her attitude in the greeting. It can be playful, or a level of griping.

I often wish I would be understood here in the USA when I see people working very hard, or doing what is often considered menial work, and I just want to acknowledge them in this context.
–From Rudy Sovinee, Ghana (1970-73)

Raksi-saksi.  My favorite punga is not a single word, but a linguistic process which my linguist calls “re-duplication.”  He says it is common in many languages (and here I was thinking it was a Nepali thing).  In Nepali, the process is when you want to add “and stuff like that” to a given word-concept.  In the “raksi” example above, the “-aksi” part of the word, with the requisite “s” in front of it (forming “saksi), is added at the end of “raksi” , giving the rhyming term “raksi-saksi” meaning “liquid moonshine and things like that.”  This re-formation process can be applied to any word one wants, and captures to some extent the mystical and warm culture of the Nepalis.
–From Brenda Terry-Hahn, Nepal (1964-66, before tv)

Send Us Your Pungas!
  • What was your favorite word in your host language?
  • What does it mean, and why is it your fave?
  • Is it the way the word sounds (there are some fun tongue-twizzlers and ear-ticklers out there), a common word you used all the time that just “brings you back”, or something that really represents the culture?
  • Or is it a word for which there is just no good English word?
Send to:
We’ll publish your best words each newsletter!
–Joan Clabby, Senegal (1985-87), Editor

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“Love cannot remain by itself — it has no meaning. Love has to be put into action and that action is service... All works of love are works of peace.”
–Mother Theresa (1910-1997)

From the President...
Greetings Members!

I am happy to see that so many of you are sending in your dues and renewing your memberships.  SDPCA relies on your dues in order to offer the award-winning newsletter and website, new-member welcome packets, social and community action events, and to supplement the International Support Fund.

Recently, both SDPCA and NPCA have made some changes to the respective dues programs, which some of you may recall from announcements made at the 2006 Holiday Potluck and in previous newsletters. See Dues Recap.

Proposals for the second round of ISF funding will be accepted until May 1 and are open to any current PCVs from San Diego. Nominations for Global Awareness Award are open until April 1.

Thank you for your continued support! It is your support that enables our support to so many worthwhile efforts!

–Nikol Shaw, Mauritania (1999-01)

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Board Meetings January - February 2007


1/10/07--Present: Nikol Shaw, Sira Perez, Sharon Darrough, Lynn Jarrett, Marjory Clyne, Joan Clabby, Kate McDevitt

Speaker’s Bureau - Vicki Curran spoke with Cub Scouts Feb. 15; Shannon Oliver (recently back from Ivory Coast) spoke at UCSD; Girl Scouts doing Global Community event at Mission Trails in April, looking for female RPCV from rural area. General information meetings:  UCSD - Jan. 31, Feb. 13, 28 and Chula Vista Library – Feb. 20; People e-mailed Sira after potluck to join Speaker’s Bureau; Sira would like to organize “people of color” panel for Peace Corps Week; Lynn suggested that we think about talking at high schools to plant the seeds for the future. Marjory trying to get “Peace Corps Week” banners; Sira ordering packets for Speaker’s Bureau from Peace Corps; 1WOW presentation at Joan’s on Feb 10th.

Community Action - Peace Resource Center work party Jan. 20th.

Financial  - Sent Entertainment Book payments for $2,720. We have $5,726.11 plus the Calvert ($1,646) - total assets $7339.68. ISF Fund - We’ve received nearly $2,000 in donations in past month mostly Tonner Family who sent out an appeal to their friends; One $1,000 check will be matched by donor’s company. We have about $4,000 for the fund this month.

Fundraising - Entertainment Books finished - sold 154 books $1290.45 (fewer than in past years, usually about 200). Marjory signed up for next year so we can get two free books. Still have approximately 35 calendars. Will reduce the price to $7 and bring to SDPCA events.

Membership and Communications - Lynn to do Voice Mail Jan/Feb. Will no longer list NPCA members because we no longer get this report from NPCA. 114 current members SDPCA, 16 are free; 1 new member joined in the past month; 33 past due for 6 months. Lynn can now send reports in pdf to board members.

Newsletter - Joan asked that any communication with current PCVs from San Diego include an invitation to submit articles for our newsletter and to apply for Global Awards.

Global Awards - We received two proposals, both from Honduras. Both heard about us from a resource CD given them by their country director. We suspect that the e-mail about the program never went out since we had so few responses.  Discussed how to directly send information to the various countries. Proposals: one for funds to build 2 greenhouses to dry coffee ($800+) and the other for a tropical fruit farm ($486.54).  Suggestion:  fund  greenhouse project for $416; for fruit trees project send list of concerns/suggestions to applicant and let resubmit.  Approved $416 for Greenhouse project mmsp. Next deadline moved to May 1st mmsp.

Social - Holiday party - between 55 and 65 people attended. Death of Two Sons ?] 5 SDPCA people were in attendance (e-vite went out late). 1WOW event Feb. 10 – Lisa and Hank helping to plan. March - International - Cultural Kitchen Connection. Banff Mountain Film Festival - International films at the Natural History Museum. International Coalition Update:  the group will cross promote and offer other activities for event participation. Social Committee will help at events rather than plan them. 

New Business - Planning for the raffle - form letter sent out to businesses for tickets to various attractions; board members and others donate items to be raffled. Lynn and Kate willing to help with getting items. Lynn, Marjory, and Kate (plus social committee) will be on the raffle committee. Do newsletter article: Ellen Shively awarded the silver award for the Sierra Club. Earth Day: Sunday April 22nd. Marjory has the application – $159 for booth. She will see if Peace Corps LA will pay the fee.

2/7/07--Present: Marjory Clyne, Lynn Jarrett, Sharon Darrough, and Nikol Shaw.  Not enough people for quorum

President’s Report - Global Awards - Nikol will follow up with the two PCV applicants (one accepted, one turned down). Sira and Lynn will give Nikol their comments on the two proposals by Monday February 12th. Nikol will send out ISF letter to each country director (e-mail list from Sharon) with Global Awards info and a request to send newsletter stories to Joan. Nikol working on re-affiliation packet for NPCA. Nikol will ask Gregg for financial report to include.  117 current members for the re-affiliation report. Please send activity updates to Don in a timely manner so he can keep website up to date.

Financial Report - Final check mailed to Entertainment Books; Expenses $4,874.64; Income: $6,105.00; Profit: $1,230.36 . We received nearly $5,000 from donations for the Mark C. Tonner International Support Fund.  Sharon will send thank you.

Fundraising - Marjory has finished Entertainment Book fundraiser (income listed above). Sira still has some (8?) calendars that she needs to sell/return. Current Price: $7.00. In past years, we have given the extra calendars to a teacher or someone.  We will give one to each of the ISF fund donors. Marjory and Lynn working on donations for May meeting. We’ll do silent auction, not raffle. Marjory sent out letters to companies asking for donations.

Communications and Membership -114 current members, 15 free. No new members this month. Past 6 months - 17 past due. Some have not noted increase in annual dues and sent in $15 rather than $20. Will make change more prominent on website and forms. Lynn will send notices to people who did not send in enough.

Old Business - May Annual Meeting tentatively Saturday May 19th, 5-9 pm. Lynn will reserve space (2nd choice Sunday May 6th).  May newsletter needs to go out on time or early if meeting is the 6th. 

New Business - Earth Day April 22nd. LA Peace Corps paid registration fee. Rock and Roll Marathon is early June. Shall we provide water like past few years? Lisa/Kate? Nikol will check. Not staffing Linda Vista Multi-Cultural Fair as it is only one week after Earth Day.

Next Meeting - Tuesday March 6th at Lynn’s condo, Mission Valley at 6:30 pm.

–Sharon Kennedy-Darrough, Thailand (1989-91), Secretary

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“The basis of world peace is the teaching which runs through almost all the great religions of the world. ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself.’  Christ, some of the other great Jewish teachers, Buddha, all preached it. Their followers forgot it.”  – Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962)

Help Chris Delcher Find his Way Home
Chris Delcher (El Salvador, 1998-2000) is asking for your help. He is trying to find the maps and mapmakers of the Peace Corps. Many PCVs are trained to make community maps while in service. These maps range from the hand-drawn variety that live in tattered journals to very sophisticated maps created with digital Geographic Information Systems. Chris’ own hand-drawn maps focused on public health by displaying the problem of minimal latrine coverage in his town but PVCs from all Peace Corps programs are using maps for many reasons.

No matter the size or sophistication, if you have a map (or even a picture of you next to a map that you have created) from your service or know an RPCV that does, please contact Chris at  Thank you!

Open Event:
“Preserving the Peace through Force and Belief”
Speaker:  Mary O’Connell
When: Tuesday, March 6th, 2007, 4:00pm-6:00pm
Where: Weaver Center, Institute of the Americas (UCSD)

Abstract: A large part of the history of international law is about the development of ever-greater restraints on the right to resort to force between societies. Today states may use force only in self-defense to an armed attack or with Security Council authorization. Even in cases of self-defense or authorization, states may only use force as a last resort and then only if doing so will not disproportionately harm civilians, their property, and the natural environment. These rules are found in the United Nations Charter, customary international law, and the general principles of law. They are binding owing to the belief placed in the system of international law generally by the members of the international community–a belief so great that each rule of international law is backed by a forceful sanction. The rules on the use of force prohibited the invasion of Iraq in 2003. They prohibit the use of force against Iran today.

Biography: Mary Ellen O’Connell is the Robert and Marion Short Professor of Law at Notre Dame Law School where she teaches contracts as well as a number of courses in the area of international law. O’Connell’s primary research focuses on international legal regulation of the use of force and conflict and dispute resolution, especially peaceful resolution of disputes prior to an escalation to armed conflict. She continues to examine the processes by which international law is made, applied, and enforced.
–More Information:

Trade, Not Aid
–Submitted by Ellen Shively, Eritrea (1968-70)
The World Development Indicators for 2004 show that the number of people living in extreme poverty (earning less than US $1/day) fell from 1.5 billion (40% of the world population) to 1.1 billion (21%) between 1981 and 2002. This progress, however, was largely in India and China. These countries used their foreign aid money to support internal economic reform such as global markets and focusing on manufacturing. In a word: trade, not aid.

Africa’s position is the reverse of that in Asia, and it’s getting worse. According to the World Bank Report, 314 million people were extremely poor in sub-Sahara Africa in 2002, compared to 164 million people in 1981.This means there has been a 91% increase of poor people (adjusted for population increases). If Africa is to match the success of Asia it will need more than money. African leaders will have to put foreign aid money to work improving the economic and political stability of their countries. Too many countries remain undeveloped because of systemically corrupt governments, creating conditions of lawlessness, greed and chaos that prevent progress. The solution is for the West to direct large amounts of world development aid in accordance with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals to reduce poverty by 2015.

Ethiopia, for example, receives US $1.3 billion in aid from the West. Despite attempts to diversify, coffee accounts for one third of its total exports. Ethiopia’s population is 77 million, and is listed as 170th out of 177 countries in the Human Development Report Index of 2004. It is beset by frequent drought and food shortages. It has a limited highway network and a difficult communication system because of it’s mountainous terrain. It was racked for two decades by a revolutionary upheaval and has not recovered from a senseless border war with Eritrea. Diplomats cannot decide whether the current Prime Minister is dragging the country forward or backward. Under such conditions democratic practices cannot prevail.

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Newsletter Credits

Pacific Waves is published six times a year by the San Diego PeaceCorps Association which is fully responsible for its content. Except for copyrighted material, articles may be reprinted without permission with credit to the SDPCA.

Contributions are encouraged: e-mailed text file on disk- Mac preferred, or typed copy.

Please send to Editor, SDPCA, P.O. Box 26565, San Diego, CA 92196 or e-mail:

Joan Clabby

Web Layout / Production
Don Beck, Lynn Jarrett

Contributors this issue are:
Nikol Shaw, Victor Bloomberg, PCV, Rudy Sovinee, Beth & Paul Skorochod, PCV, Lee Wilbur, R. Chmielewski, Lynn Jarrett, Brenda Terry-Hahn, Marjory Clyne, Sharon Kennedy Darrough, Kate McDevitt, Don & Helen Neal, Sira Perez, Ellen Shively, Ed Gruberg, Joan Clabby

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